As a public utility, it is important EWEB check in with customers to see how we are performing. We invite you to share your feedback and opinions.Find Out More
EWEB is offering an updated suite of environmental programs designed for customers who want to save money, water and energy while taking their commitment to sustainability to the next level. At the same time, EWEB is also injecting $100,000 of additional funding into our solar photovoltaic (PV) program.Find Out More
On April 12, EWEB dispatched a two-person crew with a bucket truck to assist with repairs and restoring electric service for Columbia River Public Utility District, which serves customers in Columbia County, north of Portland.Find Out More
EWEB is moving forward with analyzing four options to remediate the Leaburg Canal, ranging from full decommissioning to complete restoration, with two options in between.Find Out More
As a public utility, owned by the people of Eugene, it’s important for us to be open and transparent with our customer-owners. The following State of the Utility Address, delivered by General Manager Frank Lawson at the March 1 EWEB Board meeting, highlights key events, accomplishments and challenges of 2021.Find Out More
Here’s an hour of one-time tasks and a few more behavior change goals that will help you reduce your water use, save energy, lower your carbon footprint and save money on your EWEB bill!Find Out More
New programs provide customers opportunities to invest in local environment, watershed protection, and future climate scientistsFind Out More
EWEB is offering new programs to help Eugene electrify its transporation sector - tackling our largest source of carbon emissionsFind Out More
Just as high winds with gusts of more than 30 mph arrived in the Oregon Cascades early Thursday, EWEB has completed aerial trimming around its Carmen-Smith transmission line using a helicopter with saw attachments to trim branches and treetops.Find Out More
While world leaders debate climate action, EWEB reflects on our community's climate successesFind Out More
As part of our routine monitoring efforts, EWEB conducted a bathymetric survey of Trail Bridge Reservoir in May 2021 and found unusual depressions. EWEB conducted follow-up inspections with a remotely operated underwater vehicle along with dye testing by divers in early June 2021. Based on the dye tests, the two larger depressions are actively taking water and are considered sinkholes. Subsequent dye testing and geophysical investigations in July and August indicated that there is no concentrated seepage flow through or under Trail Bridge Dam.Find Out More
Unlike for-profit utilities who serve their investors, EWEB and other public power providers are community-owned and do not operate to earn a profit or benefit stockholders. Our prices are based on the costs to serve our community with safe, reliable water and electricity.Find Out More
At EWEB, we factor climate change into almost everything we do. As Eugene’s publicly-owned utility, we strive to fulfill our roles reducing our community’s carbon footprint, optimizing our use of clean energy, and helping our watershed adapt to a warmer climate.Find Out More
The Eugene Water & Electric Board will award $50,000 grants to The Eugene Mission and Friends of Trees Eugene Metro later this month after Greenpower program subscribers voted for their top two projects out of 11 submissions.Find Out More
We are ready to deal with the stress that extreme heat may place on our electric system. We encourage customers to be prepared, stay cool and hydrated and practice safety by developing an emergency plan and checking in on neighbors.Find Out More
Electrification is a term for upgrading technologies that run on fossil-fuels, like gasoline vehicles and natural gas heating, with alternatives that run on electricity, like electric vehicles and heat pumps.
Here in Eugene, where we are fortunate to have one of the cleanest power portfolios in the nation, electrification presents opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support climate recovery goals. But there are also potential impacts on power supply resources and local infrastructure.
In early 2020, EWEB initiated a two-phase study to help quantify the benefits and impacts of widespread electrification in our community. The purpose of the study is to inform future utility decisions related to electricity supply planning, customer programs and rate design.
The study focuses on electrification of passenger vehicles and existing buildings that use natural gas for space and water heating in EWEB's service territory and analyzes value from the perspective of the individual customer, EWEB ratepayers, and society as a whole.
Today approximately 90% of EWEB's power comes from carbon-free resources, making upgrading from gasoline and natural gas an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change.
EWEB's study concludes that Eugene residents could reduce community carbon emissions by 45% compared to 2017 levels, primarily through EV adoption. Aggressive changes across all sectors (including the natural gas sector by increasing use of Renewable Natural Gas), could lead to even greater carbon reductions—60% compared to 2017 levels.
It's important to note that building and vehicle electrification are only part of a larger community-wide decarbonization strategy. Other potential carbon reductions outside of this study include improving energy efficiency of buildings through upgrades to windows and insulation, replacing old heating and cooling system with a high-efficiency equipment, increasing use of bikes and other forms of micro-mobility, and reducing non-combustion GHGs (like methane leaks). All are key parts of the pathway to a low-carbon future.
EWEB's study analyzed the simple payback periods (upfront costs divided by annual savings) of transportation and building electrification and found that the most financially beneficial electrification opportunities come from electric vehicles and heat pump water heaters.
EWEB studied several kinds of space heating systems and found that different ducted heat pumps have trade-offs between upfront costs and carbon reduction. Without significant policy incentives, upgrading gas space heating systems to electric has a net cost to the customer over the equipment lifetime, making it less likely that customers will retrofit existing buildings. However, all the heat pump technologies studied deliver significant carbon reduction benefits, and some customers may feel that the climate benefits outweigh the costs. EWEB's study concluded that future incentives or mandates that alter the current economics could lead to higher levels of electrification and therefore greater carbon savings.
Technology improvements, regulatory policies and vehicle manufacturer trends are all driving significant adoption of electric vehicles. By 2040, 85-95% of the vehicles on the road could be electric. EWEB's study finds EVs provide benefits to vehicle owners, other electric ratepayers and society as a whole:
Upgrading from gasoline and natural gas to electric power can have beneficial effects on the price of electricity charged to EWEB customers, as increased electric revenues can be used to cover the fixed costs of the utility, reduce rates or pay for infrastructure investments.
However, under very high electrification scenarios, EWEB might have to purchase additional power resources or build additional infrastructure to meet electricity needs. While EWEB has near term capacity to handle additional load from electrification, we need to plan for long-term impacts to maintain affordability for our customers.
While EWEB's average load has declined since 2005, electrification has the potential to reverse that trend. The study finds that the pace of customer-driven electrification, if based on economic value alone, will be slow in the next decade, with EV adoption appearing to be the most likely and impactful. In the next several years, EWEB has enough surplus energy and adequate infrastructure to meet our customers' electrification needs and the upcoming Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) can help EWEB plan for the electricity supply needs of the future.
Managing peak electricity demand is a critical component of achieving climate recovery goals and keeping energy affordable for all customers.
Peak power—when the highest level of electricity is consumed in our region within a specific timeframe—is more expensive, affecting power supply and infrastructure costs and, ultimately, customer bills. The power supply during peak times also has higher greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to climate change.
One key to managing peak impacts is to increase public and workplace charging during the middle of the day, shifting EV charging away from EWEB's existing 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. peaks. This can be done by increasing daytime public and workplace charging between the morning and evening peaks as well as shifting home charging to after 10 p.m. Increasing public or shared charging infrastructure can also be helpful for people without access to home charging such as customers who live in apartments.
EWEB is already engaged in some of this peak mitigation work. We offer a Level 2 charger rebate which can help our customers schedule their vehicle charging to after 10 p.m. In the upcoming year, we will be working with community partners to expand workplace and public charging infrastructure.
The study is part of EWEB's larger and ongoing Electricity Supply Planning (ESP) effort. Electricity Supply Planning includes a broad set of actions, such as evaluating power portfolio options, negotiating power purchase agreements, managing infrastructure, and developing customer products and services, all with the goal continuing to serve our community over the long-term with clean, affordable and reliable power. This electrification study helps EWEB understand our customer's demand for electricity in the future.
In 2022 EWEB will begin preparing our next Integrated Resource Plan, a process aimed at helping EWEB make decisions about long-term power generation resources. This electrification study will help us understand the potential impacts of electrification on those decisions.
4200 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97402
Phone hours: 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.